image description

Come home to vacation

Travel to Tennessee and you'll see our state isn't just a visitor's paradise, it's a place of community that you'll want to call home.

What is the Tennessee Good Life? 

Sipping hot cocoa fireside in a log cabin overlooking the Great Smoky Mountains?
Listening to music in Nashville's famous Ryman Auditorium?
Exploring the Civil War battlefield of Shiloh?

Whatever your interests and hobbies,
Tennessee provides the backdrop for the good life.


Tennessee is home to urban places and wide-open spaces, with lots of scenic room to roam. Tennessee's lakes, rivers and parks provide perfect settings for outdoor activities. The fine arts thrive alongside regional crafts. Sports share the spotlight with great musical attractions. Major medical centers, colleges and universities, and active civil organizations enhance Tennessee and offer a sense of community for citizens.

Tennessee's claim to fame is its musical heritage. Memphis boasts the Birth of the Blues along with the rock 'n roll of Elvis Presley, Nashville is the world capital of country music. In East Tennessee, you'll hear the sounds of the banjo and fiddle in bluegrass music, against the backdrop of where Dolly Parton grew up.

Outside the main cities, natural attractions are our state's focal points, where the only music is a birdsong or a flowing stream of water. Boating, fishing and hiking are popular outdoor recreational activities, especially at one of the 54 state parks.

Tennessee has three professional sports teams, the Memphis Grizzlies (NBA), the Nashville Predators (NHL) and the Tennessee Titans (NFL). Minor league baseball teams blanket the state with the Memphis Redbirds, Jackson Diamond Jaxx, the Nashville Sounds, the Chattanooga Lookouts and the Tennessee Smokies.

As the only state (except for Virginia) to have witnessed the most Civil War battles, Tennessee attracts history buffs throughout the United States. Tennessee is known for its historical preservation of Civil War battlefields, such as Shiloh, Lookout Mountain and Stones River. Tennessee is also part of the scenic Trail of Tears, beginning east of Chattanooga and heading north toward Kentucky.

image description
image description

Quality of life in TN

Tennessee provides natural beauty, a mild climate, urban conveniences and rural peacefulness. With low living costs and quality healthcare, Tennessee is a great state to call home.

Tennessee is an orange–pink sunset, spied atop Clingman’s Dome or Mt. LeConte. It’s the stuff of legends, when the Mississippi ran backwards, and Reelfoot Lake was formed. It’s the birthplace of country music. Home to founders and pioneers of soul, blues, gospel, rockabilly, and rock ‘n’ roll. And, the longest running live radio broadcast, the Grand Ole Opry. It’s the Volunteer State. Home to the most welcoming people you’ll ever meet.

Find out for yourself. Travel Tennessee. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the mighty Mississippi and the blue ribbon-like Tennessee River. It’s amusing—Dollywood, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Tennessee Aquarium, Jack Daniel’s, Graceland. A playground—Big South Fork, Cherokee National Forest, the Appalachian Trail, Natchez Trace, Mud Island.

The arresting beauty of our waterways and rolling hills, influenced by four mild but distinct seasons, will lead you to say I can’t believe my eyes, to stop for that impromptu picnic beside a gurgling stream, to trade your keys for a fly rod, a walking stick, a paddle.

It’s not just about our natural resources. It’s about your resources, too. They’ll go further and last longer with our low cost of living and reasonable home values, without any state income tax or pension tax, with steady growth in communities you’ll be proud to call home. 

Learn more about Tennessee's low cost of living »

image description
image description

Rivers to mountains, Tennessee has it all

Geography

Tennessee is divided geographically into three grand divisions: East, Middle and West. Our state is 440 miles long and 120 miles wide. 

Bordered by eight states—Kentucky and Virginia on the north; Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi on the south; North Carolina on the east; and Missouri and Arkansas on the west—Tennessee is a great place for retirees who want to stay connected and active. 

 

West Tennessee

Tennessee boasts a cental location, and it's only a day's drive of 76 percent of the major United States markets, such as Atlanta, St. Louis, Chicago, Cincinnati, etc. The Mississippi River marks the state's western border, with plains and small streams and lakes. Also known as the Tennessee Bottoms, many parts of West Tennesee are less that 300 feet above sea level. These lowlands are often referred to as part of the Delta region. 

Discover great towns such as Savannah in West Tennessee »

Middle Tennessee

As you move east, land begins to rise farther above sea level and rolling hills begin to take shape. The Tennessee River welcomes you to Middle Tennessee, which is known for its rich farmland. Nashville, the state capital, is located in the Nashville Basin and is surrounded by steep slopes and ridges referred to as the Highland Rim. 

Here, beautiful towns such as Springfield, ColumbiaMcMinnvilleCookevilleSpartaCrossville, Gallatin and Winchester are waiting to be called home »

East Tennessee

As you travel east, the elevation rises to 1,500 feet above sea level and is called the Cumberland Plateau. Before you reach the majestic mountains of East Tennessee, you encounter an Applachian ridge and valley region. This area of Tennessee is covered by fertile valleys separated by wooded ridges.

Eastern Tennessee is distinctively known for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This region is known as the Blue Ridge and is about 5,000 feet above sea level. Tennessee's highest point is Clingman's Dome at 6,643 feet above sea level in the Smokies.

Enjoy the beauty of East Tennessee in towns such as Chattanooga, DaytonLenoir City, KingstonDandridgeMorristown, ErwinElizabethton, ClintonOak Ridge, Bristol and Kingsport »

Climate

Tennessee's climate varies from east to west, but it is generally considered to be moderate with four distinct seasons. The budding of wildflowers and dogwoods occurs in spring, and honeysuckles welcome summer. Fall foliage and crisp air make Tennessee autumns memorable, and wintry weather brings mild flurries of snowfall.

The driest time of the year is fall, and most precipitation occurs in winter and early spring. Northeastern Tennessee tends to experience more snowfall in the winter due to its lower temperatures and mountain terrain. Winters are mild with the average temperature of 40 degrees. Summer months are a prime time for outdoor recreation, with an average temperature of 83 degrees. 

Yearly average temperature and precipitation in Tennessee's metros.

 

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Chattanooga

Temp

39.8

42.3

55.8

60.2

71.9

76.1

78.1

75.8

72.2

66.0

54.4

41.8

Precipitation

3.60

4.88

4.36

1.93

3.92

4.16

7.47

2.74

8.28

4.62

7.61

6.60

Knoxville

Temp

36.9

39.9

52.7

57.1

70.7

73.0

75.9

71.5

N/A

55.5

46.7

32.6

Precipitation

3.0

4.3

6.6

2.7

5.4

6.6

7.7

4.7

3.0

3.6

5.2

7.4

Memphis

Temp

41.9

43.1

57.3

61.9

74.1

78.6

80.3

77.9

76.4

68.7

57.1

44.2

Precipitation

3.1

4.4

3.9

6.8

6.0

3.2

3.1

2.9

.25

6.2

9.4

4.4

Nashville

Temp

38.6

40.7

53.3

59.4

71.7

75.6

77.7

74.3

72.1

64.5

53.6

40.0

Precipitation

3.4

6.2

4.7

6.2

6.2

2.4

2.8

4.7

4.5

5.3

4.5

7.0

image description
image description

Preserve, protect and grow

Here, in Tennessee, we believe a community's worth is measured not only in its affordability, organizations and climate, but also in its social awareness on important issues such as environmental responsibility.

It’s widely known that Tennessee is ahead of the curve in green innovation, garnering numerous national awards for its energy acumen. We are wholeheartedly committed to not only the creation of green jobs but sustainability throughout the tourism and economic sectors.

Initiatives—such as a forthcoming solar institute in East Tennessee and one of the Southeast's largest solar farms in West Tennessee, alongside a dedicated sustainable tourism effort by the state—make Tennessee a forerunner in every aspect of green living.

Tennessee has long been a smart decision for retirees on the basis of low taxes, beautiful surroundings and a high quality of life. Today, retirees who also value environmental responsibility can find everything they're looking for in the Volunteer State. When it comes to green innovation, we're helping to chart the course for the rest of the nation. Come be a part of Tennessee's efforts to lead the new, green economy.

image description

Economic opportunity

From starting a second career to opening your first business, Tennessee is the place to be.

In Tennessee, we know how to make things and make them well. The artisan craftmanship of our manufacturing workforce truly sets us apart, with Tennessee products being some of the most sought after and well known in the world. 

image description
#2

lowest state and local taxes paid per capita (fiscal year 2011). –The Tax Foundation

image description
130+

state parks and natural areas.

image description
2nd

lowest cost of living in the nation. –Wall Street Cheat Sheet

image description
6th

in the nation for small business friendliness. –Thumbtack.com Small Business Friendliness Survey

Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) is a public-private partnership focused on supporting the development of high-growth companies in Tennessee. Our ultimate goal is to make Tennessee the No. 1 place in the Southeast to start and grow a business. LaunchTN supports local entrepreneurs by focusing on four key areas: entrepreneurship, commercialization, capital, and outreach.

To assist in entrepreneurship, Launch TN has oversight of nine regional business accelerators across the state and provides resources, mentorship and connections for entrepreneurs.